Efrat Avinadav MD, Anastasia Almog MD, Dragan Kravarusic MD, Emanuelle Seguier MD, Inbal Samuk MD, Adrianna Nika MD and Enrique Freud MD
Background: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is becoming a common tool for routine use in emergency medicine, anesthesiology and intensive care for diagnostic and interventional purposes. When a portable ultrasound device became available for the department of Pediatric and Adolescent Surgery at the Schneider's Children Medical Center of Israel, we added POCUS assessments to the physician's daily rounds. POCUS is performed by pediatric surgeons trained in basic ultrasonography skills. Starting September 2015 all POCUS examinations were documented.
Objectives: To describe the current use, diagnostic and therapeutic impacts of POCUS in a department of pediatric and adolescent surgery.
Methods: We conducted an observational study of all the documented POCUS procedures performed during a half-year period. Data regarding patient condition and the POCUS procedures were collected, as well as data on the use of other diagnostic modalities, mainly formal ultrasound exams (by radiologists) and computed tomography scans and their correlation with the POCUS assessment.
Results: Fifty-one POCUS exams were performed during the study period, most of which served to define the presence and resolution of a collection – intraabdominal (34%) and subcutaneous (31%). Despite a high rate for formal diagnostic studies (65%), probably due to a relative lack of confidence of surgeons performing the POCUS exams during this initial period, most results (92%) were compatible.
Conclusions: The ability and availability to perform multiple POCUS exams by the attending physician proved to be a valuable aide to the classical physical and laboratory examinations of surgical patients, and we predict its increasing use in quotidian practice.